My 3-year old daughter has a playmate who she calls "Frannie."
Everybody that my daughter is afraid of, Frannie is afraid of.
Everything that my daughter wants for Christmas, Frannie already owns.
Everywhere that we go together, Frannie has already been there.
In my daughter's words..."Frannie is a little girl with black hair, blue eyes, wings, and is dead."
Frannie is my daughter's imaginary playmate.
At least, that's what my wife and I believed.
Since moving to our 100-year old house, both my wife and I have become accustomed to hearing the sound of child-sized footsteps on our wooden floors, approaching our bedroom in the middle of the night.
Thirst, nitemares, chilly evening temperatures -- all seek to drive my daughters from the relative warmth and comfort of their own beds in their own room to the absolute warmth and comfort of mommy and daddy's bed in mommy and daddy's room.
I'm a heavy sleeper. My wife is a light sleeper. Yet we both awake when we hear the unmistakeable sounds of one of our offspring waking and coming in for a feather bed landing. Parental/instinct type of ESP.
Lately, after being awakened by what we both perceive to be the sound of one of our daughters coming to have a 2 a.m. bedside picnic and discussion of the days events, we are finding neither one of them on approach to our bedroom.
Call it the house settling, or the floor settling, or the outside temps making the floor boards expand and contract when coming into contact with the inside temps.
Call it what you want. But we call it our little ghost.
And our 3-year old daughter?
She calls it "Frannie.